The recent firing of FBI Director James Comey leaves those who are concerned about mass surveillance in a precarious situation. On the one hand, Comey was no protector of Americans’ Fourth Amendment right to privacy, but neither is the president who will be searching for his replacement. One of the suspected favorites to succeed Comey, former Michigan Congressman Mike Rogers, is even more in favor of draconian surveillance than the ousted FBI director.
While Rogers is just one of eight candidates the Trump administration has interviewed for the position, all are establishment intelligence officials, including a Bush-era counterterrorism expert.
Continue reading at the Observer
We can’t get away with what Hillary can. Tuesday, Director James Comey announced that the Federal Bureau of Investigation would not recommend a suit against Presidential hopeful Hillary Clinton for having an email server used for both private emails and State Department communications. Despite the illegality of her actions, Clinton was only mildly embarrassed by her behavior, but her campaign remains strong and will not face consequences for her transgressions.
Hillary Clinton’s use of a private server was reported by the New York Times in early 2015. Not only was Mrs. Clinton operating a private server, but many say that people within State and the White House knew about it.
House Republicans are thoroughly displeased with the FBI’s decision, so much so that Director Comey was called to testify to Congress on Thursday about the investigation.
There are many problems with Hillary’s behavior, aside from lack of transparency and threats to national security. The issue lies in why Hillary Clinton is treated as above the law. Director Comey said in his statement, “[t]o be clear, this is not to suggest that in similar circumstances, a person who engaged in this activity would face no consequences. To the contrary, those individuals are often subject to security or administrative sanctions. But that is not what we are deciding now.” Comey and the FBI have concluded that Hillary Clinton had broken a number of laws and protocol, but will not be charged for her crimes.
Other people throughout the government and military send and receive sensitive information on government servers on a daily basis. Other Secretaries of State and government officials have never been alleged to have over 100 emails containing classified information on a private server in their home. Military personnel who also handle classified and secret information spoke to Independent Journal on how they would be revoked of their security clearance, blacklisted, or fired if they did the same thing as Hillary Clinton.
The only explanation for Hillary getting off with a slap on the wrist is that there truly is a class of political elite, and then the rest of America. This is a sad example of the double-standard that exists within American government today between the government and the people. The political elite are being explicitly exempt from the consequences that any other citizen would face for the same crime.
Gone are the days of politicians and officials being subject to the same rule of law as the rest of the country.
As the legal dispute between the FBI and Apple continues to dominate headlines, there’s a great deal that privacy advocates and consumers should be concerned about. What if the FBI gets it way? Does that set a terrible precedent that will trickle beyond cases involving terrorism? Is this the first step towards opening a backdoor into encryption? How will that decision impact the tech sector? The litany of questions goes on and on.
But rather than focusing on the potential worst-case scenarios, here are four reasons that, no matter the outcome of the legal battle being waged, we should be optimistic about the future of encryption.
Read the rest on The Huffington Post, here.